Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Out with the New

Thank you for all the sweet comments regarding my potting bench.  Over the years I've come to appreciate the patina of old terra cotta pots.  I'm not always very good about bringing in my terra cotta flower pots in the winter, so I have a fair collection of bottomless flower pots that froze to the ground.  I just bury halfway in the soil and keep using them until they finally shatter.

So my terra cotta flower pots never get a chance to develop a nice mossy patina.  They always look brand-spanking new. 

I've heard of people using yogurt to age them, but that just sounds gross.

Then I read about using garden lime.  Most of the tutorials show pots that covered with a heavy white crust, which wasn't wasn't the effect I wanted.  I just wanted to take away some of the new look.

I picked up a bag of garden lime at Home Depot.

I stirred in two large heaping spoonful into about a cup of water (or around a third of a venti-sized cup).

I found that the lime was hard to dissolve, so I just stirred frequently while I worked.  I brushed several coats liberally onto a flower pot.  It was a hot day, so it dried quickly.

When it is dry, use a soft rag, like an old t-shirt, to brush the excess lime from the pot.  Check out the transformation.  It's instant aging.

To be honest, I had my doubts that the lime was doing anything other than just adding dust to the terra cotta.  So I sprayed them with a garden hose.  They have sat in the rain.  And they still look like this:

I'm linking up...


  1. I've never heard of aging pots like this before. It sure does easier and faster than the yogurt method. Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. I have spent a few minutes this morning looking over your posts and think it's not only pretty but informative. A winning combination. I'm your newest follower.

  2. I have never known how to do that and it sounds so easy!! I agree that aged terra cotta is so much more lovely and this was a great tip. :-) Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Inspiration Friday Heather!

  3. I've always brushed on a wash of watered down paint to try to get that look... but it's not nearly as weather proof. Thanks for the great tip!

  4. Great idea! Love the aged look to them, Heather! I've aged mine by watering down outdoor paint and spraying it with matte acrylic spray afterwards. Just another idea for ya! :)

    xoxo laurie

  5. I have a terra cotta pot that is just now getting that nice patina you are after. I didn't do anything but leave it outside for a year! :) maybe it's all the moisture...? I have heard of the yogurt idea too, but I don't remember all the steps. It seemed like there was something else that went on it after the yogurt? anyway, I think it is a nice start, and they definitely don't look brand spankin new anymore! :)
    Thanks for linking up to Transformations and Treasures!


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